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Russian winter by Daphne Kalotay

Russian winter (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Daphne Kalotay

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5634517,691 (3.74)20
Title:Russian winter
Authors:Daphne Kalotay
Info:New York : Harper, c2010.
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Read, Read 2012, E.ebook, from:amazon, library, {cover-upload, ballet, amber, jewelry, .mystery, .romance, P.Russia, P.Moscow, P.US cities - Boston, P.US states - Massachusetts, F.Stalin, poet, T.dual timelines, T.1950s, T.2010, E.ebook-kindle

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Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
This book provided a wonderful insight into the lives of ballet dancers and life in communist Russia. Nina was a fascinating character. Her life in Moscow was much more interesting than the parts of the story set in Boston. There are so many books these days which seem to follow the same back and forth formula. It is annoying and confusing when you have to read a few sentences before it is clear which era we are in - e.g. "Nina looked through the window" - but Nina when and where? It is a very common literary device to the point where it is a bit over-used. Apart from this fairly minor quibble, I found this to be a well-written, great story. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Nov 23, 2014 |
Have you ever started a review thinking that there is no possibly way to describe such a fantastic book? I have been thinking about this book for days, trying to put my reading experience into words. Russian Winter is one of those novels you simply savor up to and beyond the last words on the page. I found myself utterly captivated by Nina's story and unable to put it down until I had discovered all of her secrets.

In Russian Winter, Daphne Kalotay has done a beautiful job of creating vivid and fascinating characters and a story full of mystery and of love and loss. The writing is elegant in its simplicity and manages to completely overwhelm and entertain the reader. Russian Winter is one of the best books I've read in 2010. Read it - you won't be disappointed. ( )
  susanbevans | Jul 1, 2014 |
If you like historical fiction I would recommend this book. It has some intrique, a love story, and some history about life in Russia after WWII. ( )
  INorris | Jun 22, 2014 |
A historical romance set during Stalinist Russia. The author is able to reveal a lot about this oppressive period without being too heavy handed. This makes for an interesting light intro into life in that time.

The story is a bit predictable but somehow satisfying for this genre.

( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
A historical romance set during Stalinist Russia. The author is able to reveal a lot about this oppressive period without being too heavy handed. This makes for an interesting light intro into life in that time.

The story is a bit predictable but somehow satisfying for this genre.

( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Despite its engaging suspense, pristine character development, and jolting plot twists, the novel’s sentences can feel rambling and comma-heavy. Certain passages burst with unnecessary asides and needless details, which at times can bog down this otherwise gripping conflict. Other times, some characters’ behavior is so melodramatic as to make them seem cartoonish. These hammy expressions are distracting, as if to force readers to feel for these characters when, in actuality, such empathy comes naturally to a writer like Kalotay.

The length of the novel also makes for a small but noteworthy letdown—the climax is spectacular but disproportionate to a 459-page story. It comes slowly, meticulously, and fantastically—but then it quickly goes, with a resolution that also feels too short.

Still, Russian Winter is a fantastic first novel. The drama of Soviet oppression isn’t laid on too thick, and the hidebound world of the Bolshoi ballet, though pertinent to Nina’s life, doesn’t suffocate the story. Instead, human emotions breathe human qualities into this novel: passion, pain, love, jealousy, insolence, regret, loneliness, loss.
added by sduff222 | editThe Rumpus.net, Lindy Moore (Feb 7, 2011)
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The afternoon was so cold, so relentlessly gray, few pedestrians passed the long island of trees dividing Commonwealth Avenue, and even the little dogs, shunted along impatiently, wore thermal coats and offended expressions.
A song keeps running through my head, the one about the husband missing his wife like a wave misses the shore – over and over again.
She senses, for the first time, how far away one can be from one’s own life, how contentedly distant. The gaping enormity of the universe, its endless possibility…She feels it, an aura, an inkling: the illusion of absolute freedom.
‘How can you be this way? How can you act as if nothing is wrong’ He walked away, because of course it was dangerous to do what I was doing. Later that day, my husband came and sat down next to me and said to me, so quiet, he said, ‘Don’t you see, I have to believe in him.’ He meant Stalin. He said, ‘I have to believe. Otherwise, how can I get up out of bed in the morning?”
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Book description
When Nina Revskaya puts her remarkable jewelry collection up for auction, the former Bolshoi Ballet star finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed her life half a century earlier. It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of dance and fell in love, and where, faced with Stalinist aggression, a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape to the West.

Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But now Drew Brooks, an inquisitive associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor who believes Nina's jewels hold the key to unlocking his past, begin to unravel her story—setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.
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Former Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya auctions off her jewelry collection and becomes overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, the friends she left behind amidst Stalinist aggression, and the dark secret that brought her to a new life in Boston.

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Average: (3.74)
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